Tuesday, January 24, 2012

So, About Tate...

2002 was kind of a crazy year.  Although, with three little boys, what year wasn't?  But that was kind of a banner year.

Kerry kicked it off with a raging case of shingles, and then (unrelated) lost his job.  I had recovered from an (unplanned) caesarean, tried to keep three boybarians age five-and-under civilized enough that Kerry could work out of our living room (then attic, then mudroom, and finally garage - oh joy!), and was holding my own in the testosterzone.  Wyatt had just turned six and was about to start Kindergarten.  Gunnar had just turned one and was walking. 

And Tate was three and a half, and we finally realized he couldn't hear very well.   

Joy to the whirled.

Sometime between his birth and Gunnar's they began screening newborns for hearing loss at our local hospital, so Tate missed that.  His speech development was age-appropriate.  And his huge, blue-green eyes were taking everything in.  Of course, he had more hearing then.  Also, I'm kind of militant about look-at-me-when-I'm-talking-to-you, which probably helped. 

But mostly, Tate just works so hard.

In fact, we might have gone on a lot longer if I hadn't tried to put him on the phone with someone and noticed the confusion on his face.  I could hear the person from a few feet away, and I watched Tate as he looked blankly at the phone and said, "Start talking."


Which means that hearing aids have been part of our life for nearly ten years now.

Look how little he was!  What a cutie!  And those huge, huge eyes.  We called him Tater-bug, and Sweet (po) Tater.

We took an extended-family vacation to Oregon while he was still adjusting to the barrage of sound.

Being a toddler at the beach, he had quite a bit of time with his HAs safely in the house.  He couldn't handle wearing them all the time at first anyway.  Too much noise.  Too much to process.  But he quickly adjusted.

We all did.  Heck, HAs became cool.  Gunnar had to have his own...

... made from genuine pipe cleaners.

But as Tate has grown, and lost more hearing, and more hearing, and gone from two HAs to one, and continued to lose hearing...

his HA just isn't cutting it any more.

For those of you who've asked, yes, we are very open to signing.  I've tried to keep him exposed to it, through the years.  I'd love to learn - it's a fascinating language.

But Tate himself prefers to be oral/aural.

So we're off on a new adventure.

Next Thursday we have our first couple of appointments with the CI team at Seattle Children's to look into implanting Tate.

Excited?  Absolutely!

Nervous?  You bet.

Pray for us, okay?


Rachael Starke said...

Girlfriend, we so need to catch up.

Will be praying for your boy. Better living through technology, I say.

And so sorry about your insane weather - my most critical (as in important) coworker lives/works in Seattle, and the insanity he's had to manage with his house, and our company's customer center there, is not to be believed.

Rachael Starke said...

Okay. The pipe cleaner hearing aids are breaking my heart with their adorableness.

Praying for you in this. My best friend is a candidate for cochlear implants, but can't afford them. And she struggles mightily to be the mother she needs to be without them.

Lucas'Mommy said...

Praying hard for you for guidance. It can't be an easy decision or journey with an older child. I can tell you that the cochlear implant has changed our life though. It's been worth every moment of effort. Good luck!

Q said...

So nice to have the story and absolutely praying for whatever the Lord has for Tate!

melanie said...

'Big Event' is right!

Praying all goes well and according to our good God's plan.

dlefler said...

I am praying for all of you - for peace with the decision, for a fast adjustment time, and for better hearing.

I will say that I have a friend with two boys were were implanted as young tweens. They both adjusted well and their biggest remark was that they could hear more clearly, with much less effort - and they both ASKED to go bilateral within a year. I hope that Tate has as good of a transition!

Felicity said...

Praying for you all!

I loved seeing photos of the boys when they were younger - so cute!!!

The dB family said...

Oh wow!! I was wondering if implanting would be an option. So glad it is!! I will definitely be praying! I can't begin to imagine how tough this has been on Tate!

Blessings and big hugs!!

Kat said...

I just got goose bumps on my whole body while reading this blog post. My eyes are tearing up and my throat is suddenly dry. I know that this will be a new and tiresome adventure but, it will be worth it. I know that you'll keep your faith in HIM while you navigate through the process.

To all who have ears, let them hear! Will be praying for Tate and you all during this time. Good luck and can't wait to hear all about it!!

Liz said...

Thank you for sharing the history to Tate's hearing loss. Good luck with the CI appointment! Will lift Tate up in prayers!

bioniclissa said...

Wow!! Great news!! Great news about the being given the chance to investigate a CI, not the losing hearing part. I have had my CI for 11 years now,was implanted at 10 1/2!! Good luck!

Ann said...

Wow. I'm so behind again on blog reading and missed all of this. Definitely praying with you through this process!